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For us it was a tour of what ifs: Sangakkara

By Bikash Mohapatra
December 25, 2009 08:18 IST
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It is very difficult for a captain to explain his team's position when it is losing more matches than it is winning.

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara finds himself in that predicament during the ongoing tour of India.

Having seen his side suffer a thrashing in the Test series and squander their lead in the T20 series, Sangakkara on Thursday also witnessed his side suffer the ignominy of going into the final one-day match in Delhi fully aware that it is a lost cause -- India having already taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in  the five-match series.

To his credit though he offered valid arguments while simultaneously accepting his team's follies.

"We had our chances in the first Test at Ahmedabad but our bowling was not penetrative enough to win us the series," he admitted, after India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the fourth ODI..

"But while chasing 400-plus, we should have closed out the first ODI at Rajkot and continued to do what we did in Nagpur.

"For us, it was probably a tour of 'what ifs'  but I do believe we have been competitive enough," added Sangakkara.

Sri Lanka's captain offered an apt reason for Thursday's defeat.

"Where we lost the game was when we failed to take advantage having taken those couple of wickets early," he explained, referring to the cheap dismissals of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.

"Our best bowlers on this tour have been three debutants – Chanaka Welegedera, Suranga Lakmal and Thissera Perera, and so our experienced guys now need to take a hard look at themselves," he added.

He, however, defended his decision to bat first.

"When you bat first you want to get over 300 runs on board and we did that," he explained. "Fast bowling is the area where we lost the game."

Sri Lanka has had a series of injury worries on this tour but Sangakkara, though concerned, refused to blame that as the reason for the defeats.

"It is always tough when you make changes in the team just minutes before the toss," he explained. "We needed to have our squad at full

Strength, but, on the positive side, it was also a great opportunity for the youngsters.

"Sadly, injuries and rest will come at a higher price for some players."

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Bikash Mohapatra Kolkata

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